Alistair Reid on weather and agricultural time in Whithorn.

Alistair Reid, 86 years of age, interviewed by Julia Muir Watt in Whithorn.

    • Interviewed: 18 June 2012.
    • Ref: DG4/6/1/2.
    • © European Ethnological Research Centre.

Alastair Reid

AR: And Whithorn really came to life in the War in a curious way like that and it’s never left my memory as a kind of idealised landscape and the mode of setting the year according to the agricultural round. You … the summer was glorious, the harvest, you looked at the sky a lot and calculated the harvest and thanksgivings and so on and the…a great…there was always a…the time here was agricultural time.

JMW: Yes.

AR: Which is entirely set by the progression of seasons, which is a way of life that has never left me and I’ve always sought out places that still live by the agricultural round because it, ah mean, it gives a far greater sense of reality to the passing of time if it has a substantial realisation in what’s happening at your feet and around you all the time. Just as it is this spring, like today, for instance, it’s an extraordinary day and the weather has a great effect on you all the time, you’re aware of what’s happening and you look at the sky a great deal, we still do.